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KWM hires Nabarro’s former head of financial services regulation to support real estate and PE push

In a ‘sign to the market of our commitment to grow our private equity practice’, King & Wood Mallesons (KWM) has rehired Adrian Brown from Nabarro, where he formerly led the firm’s financial services regulation group after having joined from SJ Berwin in 2010.

Brown rejoins KWM as the firm seeks to better support its funds, private equity and real estate groups after a four-year stint heading Nabarro’s regulatory practice. Sam Robinson, who was made up to partner in May this year, replaced Brown as head of the group for Nabarro.

The funds expert qualified into the financial regulation team at what was then SJ Berwin in 1998 and went on to build a practice advising alternative investment fund managers and corporate finance advisors on all areas of financial regulation. He made partner at the firm a decade ago, in the same round as KWM’s recently appointed Europe and Middle East managing partner William Boss.

Brown’s arrival takes the number of financial regulation partners at KWM’s London office up to four, led by David Calligan. Blackstone adviser Tamasin Little and Tim Dolan make up the rest of the team. Brown will also have a role supporting the real estate team, led by William Naunton, acquired from Eversheds this year.

‘It’s always a nice moment to hire someone who has previously been at the firm. Adrian fits firmly in our financial regulation team, supporting our funds, structured real estate and AIFMD practice. He will also support the private equity group, which is a jewel in our crown. This hire is another sign to the market of our commitment to grow our private equity practice,’ Boss told Legal Business.

Brown is the firm’s 16th lateral hire in the past 12 months, many of which have arrived in London as KWM seeks to build a stronger corporate practices following a series of post-merger exits. The firm has also completed a review of its partnership in Europe and the Middle East with up to 10% of partners expected to leave the firm.

Boss added: ‘We’ve had partner exits, some voluntary and some involuntary, but it’s all part of proactively managing and pruning the partnership. That fits alongside making good business decisions about who we hire. We’re listening to where our clients want us to hire, which is primarily in corporate M&A and private equity. Our vision is to be corporate centred, with a strong corporate team and ancillary offering, such as the tax, regulatory and finance practices. Those areas are all just as important as growing the core corporate team.’